Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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If Jerry has time to work out…

Here we are at the end of another week. This week I’ve tried to inspire you to push your limits, take care of your soul and to eat right. Actually, I do that every week in different ways. I hope you’ve taken note and been inspired in some way.

Today I have The Guinea Pig 2011 Report. GP has graduated from window licking strangers to rubbing elbows with The Governor. Here’s the week in GP’s words.

Sad to say, but GP has been on a bender. I’ve rediscovered the joys of chocolate and wine. Blame it on Valentine’s bounty or pure greed, I don’t know, but I’ve been strapping on my feed bag and the corkscrew has been permanently attached to my hand the last couple of days. I spent the morning robbing the kids’ Valentine’s candy – the shame!!

However, I’m still being good about doing my crunches (I hope to one day replace the jiggle with some definition) and working up a sweat at the gym. Even dragged the GP family for a long, sweaty hike in the canyon. I even pulled a code yellow, though I was careful to hide behind a redwood tree.

To recommit myself to the road of health, I replaced the battery in my heart rate monitor today so I can be sure I’m cranking up the old ticker properly.

As for my close encounter of the gubernatorial kind, I am still tickled by seeing our gov working out. Maybe he was balancing the state budget in his head while he was balancing on the bosu ball, or finding ways to trim the fat in Sacramento while keeping trim around his middle, I will never know because I was too star-struck to say anything to him (despite being close enough to confirm that those eyebrows are real). If the gov has time to work out, then I have no excuse.

There you have it. GP is trucking along just like the rest of us, doing her personal best every day and not worrying about how many workouts she misses or stolen chocolate she eats. GP is creating her own unique success story!

Have a great 3 day weekend. I’ll be back here on Tuesday, until then follow me on Twitter. It’s kind o’ fun!

Play nice…


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GP has an admirer!

GP workin' up a sweat

The Guinea Pig 2011 Report ­­– Saturday, February 5th 2011. GP goes to the gym to spin on the stationary bike for a while. GP chooses a bike right next to the fan, as the weather in Oakland is unseasonably warm today.  The fan and the bike happen to be right next to the street level picture window.

As GP gets rolling she notices a man pressing his face against the window, swirling his tong and licking the glass. In extreme horror GP does her best to ignore the man and continue her workout. Eventually the man went away and GP was able to relax and sweat in private.  While the man was clearly “off “ mentally, GP could do nothing more than take his gesture as a complement.  It seems that as of Saturday, GP has managed to “shift 5 pounds of body weight.” All this without having to change her life much at all. Since the beginning of January this year, GP has regularly cut back on her wine consumption, is working out for an hour, 4 days a week and is making better food choices. GP is still indulging in the occasional brownie or chocolate chip cookie and is still having her vino a few times a week. GP confesses that some weeks she does better than others but is consistently making small, comfortable changes to her lifestyle.

In the end, GP was surprised to see that she was able to lose weight and feel better without having to make huge sacrifices. GP is even making an effort to take part in my Ab Challenge. She’s chosen to do 100 core specific reps, two days per week. That’s what she feels comfortable sustaining. Now that GP and the window licking stranger are noticing some changes in her physic, GP in encouraged to take things up a notch.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I’m really proud of you GP! Take no prisoners!

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Are your running shoes your friend?



The Guinea Pig 2011 Report – In case you forgot we’re following GP through the suggestions I make here on this blog. Last week I reported that GP was working on Post Holiday Detox. She’s drinking more water and eating much more fiber. GP is now feeling lighter and far less toxic.

Once GP began feeling lighter on her feet she plugged in her iPod and took things up a notch.  Rather than her usual 20-minute moderately paced trot on the treadmill, GP hit the incline button. In her own words here’s GP’s report…

Felt good Saturday after our adventure (Kelley took me into the woods for some circuit style activities using tree trunks and sticks) but did nothing yesterday, so I went to the gym today to do some intervals on the treadmill. I was looking forward to it since my ass was dragging and I had some work to do and my brain wasn’t working.

Warmed up for a bit then turned it on nice and easy–did some of your Trundling* work on an easy incline of about 1.5. I was feeling pretty good, so I did a short higher speed trundle (like 5.3mph). When I got tuckered out, I slowed it down, and cranked up the incline and did some fast walking until I was ready to trundle some more. I repeated this process for about 40 minutes (give or take my spazz outs when I dropped my ear buds or accidentally hit the stop button.)

To my great dismay, during the last 10 mins or so, my left hip started bugging me again. I go back and forth on whether it’s muscular or joint-related. I went and stretched for a while, did some balance work and core exercises, it was ok for a bit, but had some discomfort/pain by the time I got home. Just when I was starting to not totally HATE running. GP is not discouraged though. I will carry on!

Since GP is having some discomfort I have suggested that she revisit her posture as noted in my The anklebone is connected to the knee bone post. I am confident that some adjustments in her posture will make a difference and at the very least are a good place to start. The issue that GP did not mention, is that prior this workout she suffered a bad blister on her left foot which would affect how she runs. My suggestion was to discard her old running shoes and invest in some fresh footwear.

Here are the things GP was armed with before she went shoe shopping.

  • First – you need new shoes if you can see compression wrinkles in your midsole, a good rule of thumb is that your running shoes are good for 350 – 500 miles. Obviously this depends on how you run and how heavy you are. If your shoes give you blisters than they don’t fit properly.
  • Think about – where you want to run in your shoes. On the trail or on the road.
  • Go to a running shoe store where the staff knows about running. You need to deal with someone who knows about running shoes specifically and be ready to try on a few pairs of shoes.
  • Here’s how your running shoes should fit – Wiggle Room = You should have about a thumb’s width of room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Hold It = Look for a secure, comfortable fit through the midfoot. Imagine a hand gently holding your foot in place. The Heel Deal = There should be little or no slipping at the heel.

GP now has new running shoes and is feeling better about her running. We’ll check in with her next week to see how her hip feels and if she’s taken on Kelley’s ab challenge, in Holding Kelley accountable.

Stay tuned…

* “Trundle” is a Kelleyism referring to a moderately paced jog.

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The Guinea Pig 2011 Project – Meet GP

Meet GP

When GP and I first met, our idea of exercise was to flex our pectorals (squish our breasts together) and work our core by using the Xerox machine as a prop (we made copies of our D cups for the purpose of bartering for beverages later in the evening). We were two chubbsters looking for love and lots of fun. At the time GP was referred to as Fuoco (means “Fire” in Italian) and I was know as Bad Skël. Need I say more?

The first real exercise commitment GP and I ever made together was to sign ourselves up for a charity 100 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe. We did this not for the cause, but because we thought that we would drop massive amounts of weight and meet hot young men.  In the end we barely managed to drag ourselves around the lake and not an ounce of weight was lost. Additionally, all the hot guys rode past us like we were standing still.  Maybe that’s because we fueled our training with french fries and beer. The only thing interested in spending any time with us were the flies that taunted us with their constant buzzing and would land on our sweaty limbs traveling with us for miles. After the ride was over GP parked her bike and it didn’t move again until it was stolen from her garage years later.

Now, many years later GP is a wife and mother of two who has agreed to join me on another fitness challenge.  The Guinea Pig 2011 Project.

During the GP 2011 Project we will follow GP through the steps and suggestions I have made and will continue to make here on this blog. GP’s goal is to lose her tummy and tone up her entire body allowing her to don a two-piece swim suit during her family vacation in Hawaii, in May of this year.  Wearing a two-piece suit is something that GP has not had the privilege of in her entire adult life.

Step 1 – Post Holiday Detox. Since the New Year, GP has done as prescribed and upped her water intake. As suggested she is adding lemon slices and has decided to focus on water most evenings rather than the usual class or two of wine. GP is keeping her wine drinking to two – three evenings per week as that is something she can sustain. With that she is already noticing that she’s sleeping better, has more energy and her “mommy belly” is definitely going down (I could see it myself!) and she says she feels less blotted.  My other suggestion for detox was to consume more fiber and while she’s working on this admits that she is not meeting the minimum 30 grams per day. I have given her some additional food suggestions, which you will find by clicking on this link.

So, we are off to a great start. GP has made some small adjustments to her lifestyle and admits that it’s not been all that hard. She claims that you just need to get to the point where you see or feel a difference.  With the added sleep and lessened bounce in her belly GP is feeling encouraged and excited to see what comes next.

Next week, GP goes for a run and finds that her old running shoes are not her friend. Looks like we need to talk about shoe fit and look at her form.

Stay tuned…

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Okra and brown rice = nature’s broom

Okra Curry

As promised, my Okra Curry recipe. Now, before your turn up your nose, remember what I said yesterday about trying new things and pushing your limits. This recipe is very easy to make, very low in calorie, full of vitamins and contains more fiber than you can imagine. Trust me. It’s really good. Not as good as pizza, but good.

EZ Okra Curry – serves 4 (unless you eat like me, then it serves 3)

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 ¾ tsp curry powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 ½ lb fresh or frozen okra, chopped (I use frozen, not thawed)

1-2 green chilies, finely chopped and seeds removed

1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper, sauté 1 minute. Add green chili and okra, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring. Reduce heat to medium low. Add ¼ cup water and cover until okra is tender. About 5 minutes. Remove cover, continue on med low for about 2 more minutes, toss in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown rice and garnish with chopped organic tomato bits.

Tomorrow I’ll share some ideas for fun, new things to try over the weekend. Stay tuned for that…

Coming in the next weeks The GP-2011 Project (Guinea Pig 2011). I’ll be leading a husband and wife team trough the suggestions I make on this blog and following them through their progress. You, as readers will receive the benefit of hearing the stories of their results for better or for worse. We’ll be finding out not only what they’re made of, but also just how much I really know about fitness. Amusing for sure!